New Israeli startup to keep prying eyes from your phone

Mobile technology startup Unplugged empowers consumers to communicate and browse online while protecting their privacy from unwanted monitoring and analysis.

A Samsung Galaxy Z Flip foldable smartphone . (photo credit: REUTERS/STEPHEN LAM)
A Samsung Galaxy Z Flip foldable smartphone .
(photo credit: REUTERS/STEPHEN LAM)

Imagine you are window-shopping and the store owner slips a tag into your pocket upon entering. Unbeknown to you, that tag traces where you went after the shop, what other products you buy, where you have lunch, where you work, and where your kids go to school. Sounds outrageous? You do it every day online. 

Each smartphone possesses a Mobile Advertising ID (MAID) that helps advertisers deliver focused ads based on your location, browsing history, and other user behaviors. This data is collected through all free apps and most paid apps.

Suppose a user isn’t paying for a product. In that case, it usually means that the user is the product. Collecting and selling data to third parties has become the backbone of the modern marketing ecosystem. 

This is not necessarily nefarious, as data collection has sparked internet essentials like Google Maps and generated appealing personalized offers. But the fact remains that consumers often aren’t aligned with what happens with their information, especially if it falls into the wrong hands. 

By design, the data is not tied to other personal information on your devices, like phone numbers, emails, or additional contact information. But it has been shown many times that it is not difficult to triangulate information to a specific person with enough data. While personalized advertising seems harmless, it is a small jump to more pernicious activities like using data for hacks, scams, or undue monitoring.

 (credit: INGIMAGE) (credit: INGIMAGE)

New mobile technology start-up

Mobile technology start-up Unplugged aims to tackle this challenge. Led by veterans from Israel’s famous 8200 intelligence unit, the company provides consumers with an ultra-private alternative to similar tech giant phones. Its phone and app suite – empower consumers to communicate and browse online while protecting themselves from unwanted monitoring and analysis.

“News stories continue to come out about the misuse of our private data by numerous organizations. The everyday mobile phone users are coming to grips with just how much of a product they are,” says Ryan Paterson, president of Unplugged. “We are hearing from people across the globe that they are ready to reclaim their privacy as a basic human right. Through the launch of our apps and smartphone, we are building a new and revolutionary way for ordinary people, across demographics, to truly utilize the Internet’s potential for free communication without the constant worry of data-siphoning entities monetizing their information at every turn.”

Following its first mobile app rollout, Unplugged is gearing up for future software and hardware releases. Part of these developments includes a smartphone, slated to be released in 2023, and a proprietary Operating System, LibertOS.